Colmenares’ interest in landscape, nature and flowers, is derived from observed and experienced sensations. Downpour, a series of flowers suggests a darker, melancholic state, expressed through the deep blacks of the monoprint. Colour is consciously excluded.
“I am more drawn to working between the dichotomy of associations of black and white: symbolising good and bad, sin or holiness, and connotations of wealth, luxury or austerity, misfortune and magic.”
The steel plate is blanketed in velvety ink. Working reductively, the artist wipes away to reveal an emerging image that is as much from her unconscious as from the imagined sources of inspiration. The larger scale incites more indulgent gestures of Abstract Expressionism and Surrealist techniques of chance and automatic drawing.
Equally inspired by Monet’s Giverny flower paintings, the mark making approaches the grotesque with a certain delicacy in the curling, dancing and ‘drooling’ lifts of black. The flowers hold a libidinal pull, unabashed in their show of emotions to the knowingly well-manicured, yet slightly dishevelled English garden. These works are allegiant to symbolist poetry without apology.
Originally trained in San Francisco, Colmenares worked professionally as an illustrator until moving to Europe to study painting in France, then completing an MA in Fine Art at Byam Shaw School of Art, London in 2001.
“My practice has evolved, gradually resuscitating earlier skills as a draftsman to the more impulsive, expressive skills of a painter.”
Colmenares lives and works in London and has exhibited widely both in the UK and abroad.